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Thread: Milwaukee adds a Track Saw to the market

  1. #16
    What kind of material is the shoe made of?
    The Makita shoe is plastic i think.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Festool, Makita and now Milwaukee use compatible tracks. I "think" Mafeil is also compatible, too. DeWalt has its own design track which is very different. I could be wrong, but I don't believe that Kreg's track saw uses the same track format, either.



    Track Saws are designed in a way to integrate with the track from the ground up in multiple ways, so adapting a regular circular saw that's built completely differently would be a challenge. The old "EZ" system could do that, but at the expensive of a thick add-on base, etc. Since you're in the Milwaukee ecosystem now, their new track saw would be worthy to consider if you want to add one to your arsenal because of the M18 Fuel battery compatibility.

    Honestly, it would be one for me to consider, too, if I wanted cordless since it's compatible with my Festool and Makita tracks and I don't own any 18v Festool cordless tools already. So are both the Makita and the Festool for the same reason. Right now, I'm fine with the tailed track saw but for future buys, cordless would clearly get consideration.
    I'm not a big fan of cordless tools for jobs where you need to hold the tool in your hand that use a lot of power. Either the battery just doesn't last or the battery is so large and heavy the tool becomes awkward to use. SO I've held off getting a cordless circular saw. But I have come into a situation more than once where I need to make a limited number of cuts so battery power would be nice. Also when ripping a sheet of plywood with my 8' straight edge having to manage the cord is an issue. It sucks cutting 3/4 of the way through a cut only to have the cord get caught in the cut or on the edge of the track/ straight edge. It would be nice to have a saw that could do double duty. Both a regular circular saw (for cutting things like a 2x4 and also a track saw for ripping sheets of plywood.

  3. #18
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    Alex, I can appreciate your concern. The thing is that a lot of folks who are using these cordless tools now have more than enough batteries to handle things for their workday. The fellow in the video uses battery powered tools almost exclusively at this point and for the few tools that can't be had that way, such as the huge 16" beam saw, the big Milwaukee battery centers are providing 120v power on the jobsite. They try to avoid a compressor and generator for most of the job, too, although there are a few "big" guns that can't be powered any other way. Yes, this requires investment, but the trend really is there. Outside of some specialties, you can get almost any kind of tool you need battery powered at this point.

    BTW, these latest generation cordless circular saws are impressively powerful and are now leveraging thinner kerf blades for even more efficiency. The world is adapting...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Zeller View Post
    ... Also when ripping a sheet of plywood with my 8' straight edge having to manage the cord is an issue. It sucks cutting 3/4 of the way through a cut only to have the cord get caught in the cut or on the edge of the track/ straight edge. ...
    The track for the Kreg track saw comes with a 'cord manager' that does a very good job of keeping the cord (and dust collection hose) from interfering with the cut. (I thought the cord manager was a gimmick, but it really does do a good job of managing the cord.) As has already been mentioned, the Kreg track is not compatible with the Festool/Makita tracks. But, it wouldn't be too hard for someone to 3D print a similar cord manager for the tracks that work with those saws.

    Kreg Cord Manager.jpg

    FYI: For those who are unfamiliar with the Kreg track saw, the major difference between Kreg's saw and the rest of the world is Kreg's saw cuts on the left, while everyone else's cuts on the right. Those who like to see where their saw is cutting will like Kreg's design. However, since the cut is guided by the track, there is no need to see the cut as it's being made. So, in my mind, this difference is neither an advantage nor a disadvantage. Both approaches work very well.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by David Walser; 07-04-2022 at 11:27 AM. Reason: Add image
    David Walser
    Mesa, Arizona

  5. #20
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    Festool also has the cord manager and recently updated it.

    If I'm not mistaken, one differentiator with the Kreg is that it's a left-blade saw, the opposite of the others. Some folks prefer that.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 07-04-2022 at 12:08 PM.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Jung View Post
    Yay another made in china product knocking off an established product for likely not much less $
    I would not call Milwaukee a "knock off" product company. Sure, they do copy some basic design sets, but everyone does. There are only so many ways to form the basic function of a tool. But they are constantly developing new tools with unique features and good quality. And being made in China has little to do with the quality. The domestic companies have Chinese companies build their products to a price point and unfortunately, we North Americans seem to demand only the cheapest and lowest of quality. Witness the success of stores like Harbor Freight.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Festool, Makita and now Milwaukee use compatible tracks. I "think" Mafeil is also compatible, too. DeWalt has its own design track which is very different. I could be wrong, but I don't believe that Kreg's track saw uses the same track format, either.



    Track Saws are designed in a way to integrate with the track from the ground up in multiple ways, so adapting a regular circular saw that's built completely differently would be a challenge. The old "EZ" system could do that, but at the expensive of a thick add-on base, etc. Since you're in the Milwaukee ecosystem now, their new track saw would be worthy to consider if you want to add one to your arsenal because of the M18 Fuel battery compatibility.

    Honestly, it would be one for me to consider, too, if I wanted cordless since it's compatible with my Festool and Makita tracks and I don't own any 18v Festool cordless tools already. So are both the Makita and the Festool for the same reason. Right now, I'm fine with the tailed track saw but for future buys, cordless would clearly get consideration.
    Although the dewalt track is different, the dewalt saw fits and works on Festool track (and I assume also on the other compatible tracks). I bought the dewalt tracks when I bought my saw, but have since picked up Festool tracks since they are compatible with all the aftermarket squares, parallel guides, hinges, etc.

    I would love to add a battery track saw to my shop for all the reasons mentioned here; it just hasn't made it to the top of the list yet. It's nice to have another quality choice on the market.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  8. #23
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    Having a cordless option for tools designed to be hooked up to a dust extractor never made much sense to me. Until someone invents hoseless dust extraction, I dont see the benefit.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keegan Shields View Post
    Having a cordless option for tools designed to be hooked up to a dust extractor never made much sense to me. Until someone invents hoseless dust extraction, I dont see the benefit.
    I understand where you're coming from. However, using the included dust bag, the dust collection on my Kreg track saw is so good I hardly ever connect it to the dust extractor. The only hassle is needing to empty the dust bag every so often. If I'm doing a lot of repetitive cutting, I'll hook up the dust hose. Otherwise, I just use the dust bag. Either way, there's almost no dust left behind.
    David Walser
    Mesa, Arizona

  10. #25
    It makes sense to use the Festool style track with Makita and several others already using it. It gives owners more options including lower priced options. For portability a couple 55 inch tracks would let you do full length rips of sheet goods with the tracks joined and cross cuts with one track. I like my long track and short track but at church we just use a couple 50 inch Wen tracks. It's a bit short for ripping sheet goods, however. I think it's worth paying a little more for 55 inch ones. Similarly my 106 inch DeWalt track is a bit on the short side.

    Nearly all track saws are plunge cutting saws - unlike most circular saws. Our church saw is an Evolution which is not plunge cut and a lot of the time it works fine but I do miss my plunge cut DeWalt sometimes. Definitely a LOT harder to start a cut in the middle of a workpiece, for instance. The Evolution is a 15A saw that can use a 7 1/4 inch blade, however, and it is inexpensive. So it has advantages. But personally I think it's worthwhile to get a plunge cut saw. It's kind of part of the track saw advantage. But I also think it would make sense for circular saw makers to put a dado on their baseplates for a track. It would cost a few dollars but would add significant functionality. For a lot of people it might be enough of a track saw to meet their needs. It's harder to keep the Evolution saw on the track while fighting the pivoting blade guard, however. That stupid blade guard is a major disadvantage of a circular saw to me.

    I will also add that the Evolution saw with a 60 tooth Diablo blade gives me cuts equivalent to my DeWalt track saw. So I'm not sure table saw like cut quality is unique to track saws. I haven't tried that blade on my Milwaukee circular saw but I am pretty sure it would give me equivalent cuts.
    Last edited by Jim Dwight; 07-05-2022 at 7:04 PM.

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Keegan Shields View Post
    Having a cordless option for tools designed to be hooked up to a dust extractor never made much sense to me. Until someone invents hoseless dust extraction, I dont see the benefit.
    I felt the same way....until I moved to a basement shop. I bought a Makita Cordless Tracksaw to break down sheet goods and do straight line rips. But now I do them in my driveway (or in one case, at the store). It's much easier to move the smaller pieces into my basement. And the cordless is so convenient.

    But if I was doing a lot of cuts, battery life would be an issue.

  12. #27
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    Thatís fair. I tend to use my tracksaw in a shop where I donít want dust everywhere. For construction jobsites, I imagine a circular saw would work better (as shown by their wide use). Situations where a tracksaw is the best tool for the job and where dust collection isnít needed seem limited for my uses. All of my cordless tools are Milwaukee, and I do like them. The M18 Fuel trim router works well. I didnít have good luck with the M18 sander - continuous running tools seem to drain batteries pretty fast.

  13. #28
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    More and more contractors are finding track saws to be an essential on the job site these days, not as much for dust collection as for more precise cutting and for the guided plunge capability. A lot of sheet materials used in construction now require accurate spacing to insure that their warranties are valid and you cannot beat an absolutely straight cut for that. A track saw is faster and easier for that then "assembling" something from a board and a circular saw, especially if you are up on a ladder or lift. Some are cutting several sheets (crosscuts or rips) right on top of the bunk using track saws while is a heck of a lot more convenient than using a portable table saw and the cut is as precise as they want it to be. Cordless ups the value for obvious reasons in those scenarios.

    Not for everyone for sure, however...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    More and more contractors are finding track saws to be an essential on the job site these days, not as much for dust collection as for more precise cutting and for the guided plunge capability. A lot of sheet materials used in construction now require accurate spacing to insure that their warranties are valid and you cannot beat an absolutely straight cut for that. A track saw is faster and easier for that then "assembling" something from a board and a circular saw, especially if you are up on a ladder or lift. Some are cutting several sheets (crosscuts or rips) right on top of the bunk using track saws while is a heck of a lot more convenient than using a portable table saw and the cut is as precise as they want it to be. Cordless ups the value for obvious reasons in those scenarios.

    Not for everyone for sure, however...
    Considering the cost of sheet goods, likely a track saw helps contractors to get the cut right the first time. The proverbial "do-over" is now pretty expensive. And with modern lumber packs for new homes, I don't know if there's any extra material for do-overs.
    If the water is 100 feet down, it doesn't matter how many 90 foot wells you dig.

  15. #30
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    Really liked that nibbler. Very cool.

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